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RDN waste separation bylaw awaiting accompanying regulations

Solid waste committee chairperson says waste separation and waste hauler licensing complementary
The Regional District of Nanaimo is working to implement a bylaw that would require separate waste bins for multi-family dwellings and businesses, similar to what City of Nanaimo has for single-family dwellings. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

The Regional District of Nanaimo is continuing with plans to have businesses and apartment and condo buildings sort waste into different bins, but it is dependent on waste hauling regulation approval.

The RDN received a go-ahead from the B.C. government in May to implement a mandatory waste source separation bylaw which, similar to single-family dwellings, would require multi-family units and businesses to separate waste by recyclables, garbage and compostables.

RDN staff are formulating a plan for implementation next year, but the timeline will depend on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy granting approval for a waste hauler licensing bylaw. In an e-mail, Ellen Tian, RDN general manager of regional and community utilities, told the News Bulletin a specific timeline could not be provided as implementation of waste separation regulations must be in conjunction with waste hauler licensing implementation. The RDN continues to work with the ministry, she said.

An RDN solid waste management select committee staff report noted the licensing bylaw will provide financial incentives to companies to ensure waste separation is maintained and achieved. Ben Geselbracht, committee chairperson, said the two bylaws will complement one another, and details, such as bin size, are still being worked out.

“I think a lot of this will be dependent on the size of the business or the institution,” Geselbracht said. “Also, [what’s] important with the waste haulers is that it’s privately collected unlike at the city, so it will be also dependent on what works best for the waste haulers and the particulars of the business or institution involved.”

While the RDN has ambitions of diverting 90 per cent of waste from its landfill by 2029, the current diversion rate sits at about 65 per cent.

“I would say everything is dependent on getting the mandatory source separation and the waste hauler licensing scheme in place and those two programs will drive the majority of our diversion towards that 90-per cent goal,” said Geselbracht. Without waste hauler licensing in place with mandatory source separation … it’ll be a lot more difficult to reach that.”

The RDN board is expected to accept the report for information at its meeting Tuesday, July 25.

RELATED: RDN proposes separating waste for apartments, condos

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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